JP2005505362A - System and method for dynamically loading game software for smooth gameplay - Google Patents

System and method for dynamically loading game software for smooth gameplay Download PDF

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Publication number
JP2005505362A
JP2005505362A JP2003535032A JP2003535032A JP2005505362A JP 2005505362 A JP2005505362 A JP 2005505362A JP 2003535032 A JP2003535032 A JP 2003535032A JP 2003535032 A JP2003535032 A JP 2003535032A JP 2005505362 A JP2005505362 A JP 2005505362A
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Prior art keywords
environment
game
game environment
read
character
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Pending
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JP2003535032A
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Japanese (ja)
Inventor
アンドリュー ギャヴィン、
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ソニー・コンピュータ・エンタテインメント・アメリカ・インク
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Priority to US32847901P priority Critical
Application filed by ソニー・コンピュータ・エンタテインメント・アメリカ・インク filed Critical ソニー・コンピュータ・エンタテインメント・アメリカ・インク
Priority to PCT/US2002/032420 priority patent/WO2003032127A2/en
Publication of JP2005505362A publication Critical patent/JP2005505362A/en
Application status is Pending legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/60Generating or modifying game content before or while executing the game program, e.g. authoring tools specially adapted for game development or game-integrated level editor
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/10Control of the course of the game, e.g. start, progess, end
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/50Controlling the output signals based on the game progress
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/50Controlling the output signals based on the game progress
    • A63F13/52Controlling the output signals based on the game progress involving aspects of the displayed game scene
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/70Game security or game management aspects
    • A63F13/77Game security or game management aspects involving data related to game devices or game servers, e.g. configuration data, software version or amount of memory
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/55Controlling game characters or game objects based on the game progress
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/55Controlling game characters or game objects based on the game progress
    • A63F13/56Computing the motion of game characters with respect to other game characters, game objects or elements of the game scene, e.g. for simulating the behaviour of a group of virtual soldiers or for path finding
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/20Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterised by details of the game platform
    • A63F2300/203Image generating hardware
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/20Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterised by details of the game platform
    • A63F2300/206Game information storage, e.g. cartridges, CD ROM's, DVD's, smart cards
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/20Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterised by details of the game platform
    • A63F2300/206Game information storage, e.g. cartridges, CD ROM's, DVD's, smart cards
    • A63F2300/207Game information storage, e.g. cartridges, CD ROM's, DVD's, smart cards for accessing game resources from local storage, e.g. streaming content from DVD
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/50Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by details of game servers
    • A63F2300/53Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by details of game servers details of basic data processing
    • A63F2300/534Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by details of game servers details of basic data processing for network load management, e.g. bandwidth optimization, latency reduction
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/50Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by details of game servers
    • A63F2300/55Details of game data or player data management
    • A63F2300/552Details of game data or player data management for downloading to client devices, e.g. using OS version, hardware or software profile of the client device
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/60Methods for processing data by generating or executing the game program
    • A63F2300/63Methods for processing data by generating or executing the game program for controlling the execution of the game in time
    • A63F2300/638Methods for processing data by generating or executing the game program for controlling the execution of the game in time according to the timing of operation or a time limit
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/60Methods for processing data by generating or executing the game program
    • A63F2300/64Methods for processing data by generating or executing the game program for computing dynamical parameters of game objects, e.g. motion determination or computation of frictional forces for a virtual car

Abstract

System and method for dynamically loading game software for smooth game play. Identify the read boundary (502) associated with the game environment (506). The position of the character (508) in the game environment (506) is monitored. When the character (508) crosses the reading boundary (502), an instruction corresponding to another game environment is read into the memory (206, 208) so that game play is not interrupted.
[Selected figure] Figure 3

Description

【Technical field】
[0001]
The present invention relates generally to electronic entertainment devices, and more particularly to a system and method for dynamically loading game software for smooth gameplay.
【Background technology】
[0002]
The virtual world that game software represents often includes more than one gameplay environment or level. Typically, one user-controllable character starts the game in one environment or level, and then transitions to another, often more challenging, challenging environment or level. When the game moves from one environment to another, there is usually a pause in gameplay. The game screen may momentarily go blank, or a "reading" screen appears, and a new environment or level is read from the game disc into the memory of the game system. Although the read time varies depending on the game, in the case of a game including complicated environments or characters, the read time is considerably long. Whether the reading time is short or long does not change the flow of game play being interrupted.
[0003]
When loading software associated with the new gaming environment, the aisle or room for transition is displayed to the user in order to avoid displaying a blank or loading screen for the user. Typically, the aisle or transition room is a non-detailed area that the character passes as it moves between the detailed areas. If the user's character is in an area where detail is not depicted, the area where detail is depicted on both sides of the aisle or transition room is not displayed to the user. Although this does not require the user to show a blank or read screen, from the user's point of view, he has to wait for a new environment until the game play can actually resume.
[0004]
As with the conventional aisle or transition room, it is clear to the user that using the blank and the reading screen, the actual game play can not be performed until a new environment is acquired. This interruption of gameplay destroys the realism of the game, and the user is vigilantly aware of the pause in gameplay.
Disclosure of the Invention
[0005]
A dynamic loading system and method of game software for smooth game play according to the present invention is disclosed. Identify read boundaries associated with the game environment. Next, the position of the character in the game environment is monitored. When the character passes the read boundary, an instruction corresponding to another game environment is read into the memory, and game play is not interrupted.
[0006]
In the system according to the present invention, the environmental management engine identifies a read boundary associated with the game environment, monitors the position of the character in the game environment, and corresponds to another game environment when the character crosses the read boundary. The instructions are configured to read into a storage device. At least two memory segments are configured to store instructions for the game environment and to receive and store instructions for another game environment.
BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION
[0007]
FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating an electronic entertainment system 100 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The apparatus 100 includes a main memory 110, a central processing unit (CPU) 112, vector processing units VU0_111 and VU1_113, a graphic processing unit (GPU) 114, an input / output processor (IOP) 116, an IOP memory 118, and the like. Controller interface 120, memory card 122, universal serial bus (USB) interface 124, and IEEE 1394 interface 126, but is not limited thereto. The apparatus 100 also includes an operating system read only memory (OSROM) 128, an audio processing unit (SPU) 132, an optical disk processing unit 134, and a hard disk drive (HDD) 136, and these components are bus It is connected to the IOP 116 via 146. The device 100 is preferably an electronic game console, but the device 100 may also be implemented, for example, as a general purpose computer, set top box, handheld game console.
[0008]
The CPU 112, VU 0 _ 111, VU 1 _ 113, GPU 114, and IOP 116 exchange information via the system bus 144. The CPU 112 exchanges information with the main memory 110 via the dedicated bus 142. The VU 1 113 and the GPU 114 may also exchange information via the dedicated bus 140. The CPU 112 executes programs stored in the OS ROM 128 and the main memory 110. The main memory 110 may store a program stored in advance, and further, using an optical disc processing unit 134, from a CD-ROM, a DVD-ROM, or another optical disc (not shown) via the IOP 116 It may store the transferred program. The IOP 116 controls data exchange between the CPU 112, VU0_111, VU1_113, GPU 114 and other devices of the apparatus 100, for example, the controller interface 120. Although CPU 112 has been described above, any other type of processor is within the scope of the present invention.
[0009]
The GPU 114 executes a drawing instruction from the CPU 112 and the VU 0 _ 111 to display an image on a display device (not shown). The VU 1 — 113 converts the object from three-dimensional coordinates to two-dimensional coordinates, and sends the two-dimensional coordinates to the GPU 114. The SPU 132 executes instructions to generate an audio signal that is output to an audio device (not shown).
[0010]
The user of the device 100 instructs the CPU 112 via the controller interface 120. For example, the user may instruct the CPU 112 to store certain game information in the memory card 122, or may instruct the characters in the game to take a specified action. Other devices may be connected to the device 100 via the USB interface 124 and the IEEE 1394 interface 126.
[0011]
FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating one embodiment of the main memory of FIG. 1 in accordance with the present invention. Main memory 110 includes, but is not limited to, game software 202, memory segment 206, and memory segment 208. The game software 202 has instructions that the CPU 112, VU0_111, VU1_113, SPU 132 can execute so that the user of the device 100 can play the game. In the embodiment of FIG. 2, the game software 202 is associated with an action adventure game in which the user controls characters on the road. In other embodiments, game software 202 may be involved in any other type of game, including other action adventure games, role playing games (RPGs), civilization construction simulation games, etc. Not limited to them. The game software 202 also includes an environment management module 204.
[0012]
Memory segment 206 and memory segment 208 are part of main memory 110 configured to store the game environment. The environment management engine 204 reads the environment from the disk of the optical disk control unit 134 into the memory segment 206. Environment management engine 204 reads another environment from its disk into memory segment 208. One of memory segment 206 and memory segment 208 stores the current environment, and the other of memory segment 206 and memory segment 208 stores the next environment. Although two memory segments 206, 208 are shown in FIG. 2, the number of memory segments may be any number within the scope of the present invention.
[0013]
FIG. 3 is a flow chart illustrating dynamic loading of game software utilizing environment management engine 204 of FIG. 2 according to one embodiment of the present invention. At step 302, the environmental management engine 204 identifies read boundaries associated with the current game environment. The current game environment is generally the environment in which the character is currently searching. The read boundary is a threshold, which tells the environmental management engine 204 that the next environment must be read into memory segment 206 or memory segment 208 when the character reaches or exceeds that threshold. The process of determining the read boundaries during creation of the game software 202 will be described with reference to FIG.
[0014]
Next, in step 304, the environmental management engine 204 monitors the position of the character in the current game environment. In order to monitor the position of the character, the environmental management engine 204 tracks user input. For example, when the user moves the character forward in the direction of the next environment, the environment management engine 204 tracks this input. Similarly, if the user moves the character backwards in the direction of the previously executed environment, the environment management engine 204 tracks its input. Thus, the environment management engine 204 constantly tracks the movement of the character to know when the read boundary is crossed or reached.
[0015]
At step 306, the environmental management engine 204 determines whether the character has crossed the read boundary. If the character does not cross the read boundary, then the environmental management engine 204 continues to query whether the boundary has been crossed until the answer is yes. If the character crosses the read boundary, the environment management engine 204 reads the next game environment in the memory segment 206 or the memory segment 208 not storing the current game environment in step 308. The next game environment becomes the current game environment when the character enters the environment. Therefore, when the character enters the next environment, the current game environment becomes the previous environment.
[0016]
If the character crosses the read boundary or reaches the read boundary, the environmental management engine 204 is triggered to read the next game environment. In general, triggers to load the next game environment may allow the user to view the next environment, or the user will soon need the next environment, or possibly the previous environment as described below. Occurs in the situation. The read boundary is a trigger that represents these situations.
[0017]
As described above, at step 308, the environment management engine 204 reads the next environment from the disk of the optical disk control unit 134 (FIG. 1) into either the memory segment 206 or the memory segment 208. Since the character is assumed to move forward in the game, the next environment is the read environment. However, if the character moves backward in the game, the previously executed environment is read again. That is, if the user tries to move the character away from the next environment, the read boundary will be crossed in the reverse direction, and when the environment management engine 204 selects the route, the user can Reload the previously run environment so that the character can be returned to the previously run environment.
[0018]
At step 310, the environmental management engine 204 determines if the character has reached the end of the current game environment. If the character has not reached the end of the current gaming environment, the environment management engine 204 continues to query whether the character has reached the end of the current gaming environment until the answer is yes. If the character has reached the end of the current game environment, the next game environment is displayed at step 312.
[0019]
FIG. 4 is a flowchart illustrating a process of establishing a read boundary according to one embodiment of the present invention. The process of FIG. 4 for determining the read boundaries relates to the process implemented in the design and creation of the game software 202 and / or the environmental management engine 204. At step 402, the designer calculates the read time of one environment. The read time is the time required to read an instruction for a particular environment from the disk into the main memory 110. The read time of each environment generally varies depending on the complexity of the environment. The read time of each environment may be any length suitable for use in the present invention. For example, the read times for each environment may be equal or nearly equal. As another example, the later environment may be a condition that its read time is shorter than the time of the preceding environment.
[0020]
At step 404, the designer sets the minimum duration of the new environment to twice as long as the calculated read time of another environment. The minimum duration of an environment is measured as the minimum amount of time it takes a character to traverse that environment. The minimum period is set to twice the read time of another environment so that it has time to load the next environment into memory segment 206 or memory segment 208 as the character passes through the midpoint of that environment.
[0021]
At step 406, the designer establishes a read boundary at the midpoint of the new environment. By establishing a read boundary at the midpoint of the current environment (eg, the new environment), a read for the next environment can begin when the character reaches or crosses this midpoint . Since the next environment's read time is less than half the current environment's execution time, the next environment's read is complete by the time the character reaches the end of the current environment. In this way, the user can seamlessly introduce characters into the next environment without experiencing interruptions or delays. Furthermore, the user is not aware of the transition time from the current environment to the next environment. Although FIG. 4 illustrates the process of establishing the boundary at the midpoint of the environment, any process of setting the boundary may be used in accordance with the spirit of the present invention.
[0022]
By setting the midpoint as the reading boundary, the user can move the character from any particular midpoint to any of a variety of environments. That is, the character does not have to move linearly from the current environment to the next environment. As described below, the user does not necessarily have to go to the environment immediately following at that difficulty level. Since the midpoint of each environment is far enough away from the other environment, instructions regarding the game environment will be read into memory segment 206 or memory segment 208 before the character reaches any of the other environments. .
[0023]
In another embodiment of the present invention, a continuation point may be set. The continuation point triggers the process to continually load or maintain the next environment. Thus, when the character exceeds the continuation point, the next environment is continuously read into level memory 206 or level memory 208. In this embodiment, the reading of the next environment may be stopped if the character can not exceed a particular continuation point. In any game environment, as many continuation points as desired can be set. The continuation point may act as a trigger to continue the reading process of the next environment and / or the continuation point may be used as an aid in monitoring the position of the character.
[0024]
FIG. 5 is an illustration of a game environment according to one embodiment of the present invention. The user places the character 508 in the direction of the environment "V" 510 through the virtual passage 510a, through the virtual passage 512a in the direction of the environment "W" 512, and through the virtual passage 514a in the direction of the environment "Y" 514. It can be moved through the virtual path 516a in the direction of Z "516. In this manner, the user can move character 508 from read boundary 502 in environment "X" 506 to any number of environments. The user can move the character 508 to any number of environments, but only two environments at a time can be viewed by the user, if desired or necessary. It is also possible to see a third environment of lower resolution.
[0025]
The character 508 crosses the read boundary 502 and enters one of the virtual paths. The virtual path in which the character 508 enters indicates to the environmental management engine 204 which environment to read next. For example, if character 508 enters virtual path 514 a, environment management engine 204 reads environment “Y” 514 into memory segment 206 or memory segment 208. The number of virtual paths in other environments may be more or less. In FIG. 5, for example, virtual path (not shown) for environment "V" 510 is because character 508 can only move from environment "V" 510 in the direction of environment "X" 506 or environment "W" 512. There are only two. Each virtual passage is, for example, a defined area such as a sidewalk. Thus, the character 508 can not leave the virtual path and, for example, can not go directly to another virtual path.
[0026]
A seamless transition from one environment to another is achieved by back and forth between the memory segments 206 and the game environments stored in the memory segment 208. Because there are two or more memory segments 206 and 208, the user's character can stay at one level and may or may not see one another level to the user. By configuring main memory 110 to include memory segment 206 and memory segment 208, a "virtual path", such as the virtual path shown in FIG. 5, is created. Unlike a conventional "passage", this virtual passage goes from the level to the level itself. Thus, each environment does not inherently have boundaries. The user can move the character from one environment to another without delay or interruption in game play.
[0027]
FIG. 6 is a flow chart illustrating the process of loading game software for the following environment according to one embodiment of the present invention. At step 602, the environmental management engine 204 identifies the next environment 602. The next environment may be any environment where characters can be accessed from the current environment. That is, the next environment does not have to be one that directly inherits the current environment. The next environment may jump over one environment or level, may jump over two environments, or may not jump over.
[0028]
At step 604, the environmental management engine 204 identifies available memory segments. In one embodiment, either memory segment 206 or memory segment 208 does not have the current environment. At step 606, the environmental management engine 204 loads the next environment into an available memory segment. For example, assuming that memory segment 206 (FIG. 2) stores a previously executed environment, memory segment 206 can be used to accept the next environment while memory segment 208 is currently executing. Contains the environment.
[0029]
When the character crosses the midpoint of the currently executing environment, the environment management engine 204 reads the next environment into the memory segment 206, overwriting the previously executed environment. As noted above, if the user turns the character back and maneuvers back to the direction of the previously executed environment, the character will cross the midpoint read boundary in the opposite direction. When the character crosses the midpoint read boundary, the previously executed environment is reloaded into memory segment 206.
[0030]
The position of the character relative to the midpoint allows the user to see the currently running environment and either the next or the previous environment. That is, if the character is at a position before the middle point in the current environment, the user can see the current environment and the previous environment. However, if the user's character is in the current environment at a position after that midpoint, the user can see the current environment and the next environment, but not the previous environment.
[0031]
In order to realize such a display before the completion of reading of the previous or next environment, a part of the detailed environment is displayed before or after the current environment according to the position of the character. That is, only a portion of the detailed environment in which the character is traveling is displayed to the user. In this way, the user can see the detailed environment. By the time the character reaches its detailed environment, the environment is ready to be read and completely displayed, so when the character reaches its detailed environment, the character will be in its detailed environment. Can enter.
[0032]
At step 608, the next environment is executed with the current environment shut down. As mentioned above, when the character crosses the read boundary of the currently executing environment, the next environment is read. Thus, when the character reaches the end of the currently executing environment, the next environment is already read and ready for execution. By dynamically loading the following environments, the user can experience smooth game play since pauses and interruptions do not occur during the game. As described above, conventionally, at the end of the current environment, the user has to wait for the next environment to be read, and during the delay time of the game, a "reading" or a blank screen is displayed. According to the present invention, by reading in the next environment in advance, interruptions and delays of games conventionally associated with game software can be avoided, and the user can enjoy smooth game play.
[0033]
In one embodiment of the present invention, three environments, or portions of those environments, may be displayed at specific times. A low resolution version of each detailed environment is displayed to achieve three levels of display simultaneously. That is, the low-resolution version of the environment is displayed at the previous level or level that the user can view from any environment.
[0034]
For example, if the character travels through a city, as described above, the two environments of that city can be viewed simultaneously. However, the user should be able to see the top of the city's buildings from any environment in the city. Thus, a low resolution version of the building tip is displayed to the user, along with two other environments.
[0035]
In addition, as characters move through an environment, various details associated with the environment may be read into main memory 110 and released as appropriate. For example, when a character approaches a particular person in the environment, voice for that particular person may be triggered. The voice software for a particular person is loaded into main memory 110 and executed when the character approaches that person. Depending on the current environment, audio software for the person may be loaded into memory segment 206 or memory segment 208. If the character leaves the person, the audio software for that person is released. Conversely, when the character does not approach the person, voice software for the person is not read into the main memory 110. In this way, details can be added to the environment without the use of a large amount of memory and without imposing a heavy load on the device.
[0036]
FIG. 7 is a flow chart illustrating a process for preventing a user from viewing a display other than the environment, according to one embodiment of the present invention. At step 702, the environmental management engine 204 displays one environment. The environment may be the currently running environment or the next environment whose execution is about to begin.
[0037]
At step 704, the environmental management engine 204 determines whether the character has crossed the read boundary. If the character does not cross the read boundary, the environmental management engine 204 continues to query whether the boundary has been crossed until the character crosses the read boundary. Once the character crosses the read boundary, environment management engine 204 reads the next game environment into memory segment 206 or memory segment 208 at step 706.
[0038]
At step 708, the environmental management engine 204 determines if the character has reached the end of the environment displayed at step 702. If the character has not reached the end of the environment, the environment management engine 204 continues to monitor the position of the character to determine that the character has reached the end of the environment. When the character has reached the end of its environment, environment management engine 204 determines at step 710 whether a display of the next environment is ready. If a display of the next environment is prepared, the environment management engine 204 displays the next environment in step 702. The process of FIG. 7 continues until the end of the game.
[0039]
However, as shown in FIG. 7, if the display of the next environment is not prepared, the environment management engine 204 restricts the movement of the character at step 712. For example, the environment management engine 204 may prevent the user from moving the character as the character stumbles and falls. Once movement of the character has been restricted, such as by tripping over, environment management engine 204 continues to query whether a display of the next environment has been prepared (step 710).
[0040]
When the display of the next environment is prepared, the next environment is displayed in step 702, and the character can move again. For example, in the case of an old device that takes longer than expected to read the next environment, the next environment may be delayed according to the display preparation. As another example, in the case of a DVD-ROM, there may be skips and other problems that cause delays when reading the next environment. There are countless problems that cause delays when loading the next environment.
[0041]
However, if the display of the next environment is not prepared, the user will know that some failure has occurred in the device 100 since the character is stationary. Frequently, the user's DVD-ROM is severely scratched or permanently damaged, and the next environment can not be read properly. Furthermore, the user's DVD-ROM drive itself may be damaged or destroyed, making it impossible to read the next environment. Thus, there are countless problems that can not read the next environment at all. Thus, in such a case, the character remains immobile so that the user does not have to look at displays other than the environment. In any case, if the DVD-ROM, DVD-ROM drive, etc. is broken, the user can not play the game. In this way, making the character immobile does not prevent the resumption of the game.
[0042]
The present invention has been described above based on several specific embodiments. Other embodiments in light of the present disclosure will be apparent to those skilled in the art. The present invention may be readily implemented using configurations other than those described in the preferred embodiment above. Furthermore, the present invention can be effectively used for systems other than the above-described systems. Therefore, other modifications and the like derived from the above-described embodiments are also within the scope of the present invention, and the present invention is limited only by the scope of the claims.
Brief Description of the Drawings
[0043]
FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating an electronic entertainment device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating one embodiment of the main memory of FIG. 1 in accordance with the present invention.
3 is a flow chart illustrating dynamic loading of game software utilizing the environment management engine of FIG. 2, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a flowchart illustrating a process of establishing a read boundary according to one embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 5 is an exemplary illustration of a gaming environment in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 6 is a flow chart illustrating a process of loading game software for the following environment according to one embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 7 is a flow chart illustrating a process for preventing a user from viewing a display other than the environment, according to one embodiment of the present invention.

Claims (22)

  1. Identifying a read boundary associated with the game environment;
    Monitoring the position of the character in the game environment;
    Reading an instruction corresponding to another game environment into the memory so as not to interrupt game play when the character crosses the read boundary;
    A method of dynamically loading game software comprising:
  2. The method of claim 1, further comprising: configuring the memory to include at least two memory segments.
  3. The step of reading an instruction corresponding to another game environment is:
    Identifying the other game environment;
    Identifying one of the at least two memory segments available for storage of the other game environment;
    Reading into the available memory segment instructions corresponding to the other game environment;
    Executing the other game environment when the game environment is stopped;
    The method of claim 2, further comprising:
  4. The method according to claim 1, wherein said another game environment is a level directly inheriting from said game environment.
  5. The method of claim 1, further comprising: limiting movement of the character if reading of an instruction corresponding to the other gaming environment is not complete.
  6. The method of claim 1, wherein as the character moves through the game environment, a portion of the other game environment is displayed.
  7. The method of claim 1, wherein the read boundary is at the midpoint of the game environment.
  8. The method of claim 1, further comprising identifying a continuation point in the game environment.
  9. 9. The method of claim 8, further comprising continuing to read instructions corresponding to the other gaming environment if the character exceeds one of the continuation points.
  10. An environment management engine that identifies a read boundary in the game environment, monitors the position of the character in the game environment, and reads an instruction corresponding to another game environment when the character crosses the read boundary;
    At least two memory segments storing instructions for the gaming environment and receiving and storing instructions corresponding to the other gaming environment;
    A system for dynamically loading game software, comprising:
  11. The system of claim 10, wherein at least one of the gaming environment, the additional gaming environment, and the prior environment are executed from different memory segments in the at least two memory segments.
  12. The system of claim 10, wherein the further game environment is read into the at least two memory segments by overwriting a preceding game environment in the at least two memory segments.
  13. 11. The system of claim 10, wherein the at least two memory segments are included in main memory.
  14. 11. The system of claim 10, wherein the read boundary is at the midpoint of the gaming environment.
  15. The system of claim 10, wherein the environmental management engine is configured to identify a continuation point.
  16. 16. The system of claim 15, wherein the continuation point is triggered by the continuation of reading instructions corresponding to the other gaming environment.
  17. Calculating the read time of the game environment;
    Setting the duration of another gaming environment equal to at least twice the calculated read time of the gaming environment;
    Establishing a read boundary at the midpoint of said another game environment;
    Triggering a read of the game environment when a character in the other game environment crosses the read boundary;
    A method of dynamically loading game software comprising:
  18. The method of claim 17 wherein the read times of the game environment and the another game environment and the next game environment are equal.
  19. The method of claim 17 wherein the read times of the game environment and the another game environment and the next game environment are not equal.
  20. The method of claim 17 wherein the read time of the game environment increases with increasing difficulty level.
  21. Identifying read boundaries in the game environment;
    Monitoring the position of the character in the game environment;
    Reading an instruction corresponding to another game environment into the memory so as not to interrupt game play when the character crosses the read boundary;
    A computer readable medium comprising instructions for dynamically loading game software by implementing:
  22. Means for identifying read boundaries in the game environment;
    Means for monitoring the position of the character in the game environment;
    Means for loading instructions corresponding to another game environment into the memory so as not to interrupt game play when the character crosses the read boundary;
    An apparatus for dynamically loading game software, comprising:
JP2003535032A 2001-10-10 2002-10-08 System and method for dynamically loading game software for smooth gameplay Pending JP2005505362A (en)

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KR20040037236A (en) 2004-05-04
US9138648B2 (en) 2015-09-22
AU2002342040A1 (en) 2003-04-22
US20040229701A1 (en) 2004-11-18
US6764403B2 (en) 2004-07-20
WO2003032127A2 (en) 2003-04-17
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EP1444605A2 (en) 2004-08-11
KR100847201B1 (en) 2008-07-17
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KR100737632B1 (en) 2007-07-10
US10322347B2 (en) 2019-06-18

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